Michigan South to North
In July Barley and I will be taking the sidecar from VT to the rally in St Paul. It's our chance to see more of Michigan, including the eastern part of the UP that we missed last time we were in the neighborhood. But I need some advice for the trip from the OH border to the Mac. I'm hoping to avoid cities and traffic, and see a mix of forest and coastline. Here's what I'm thinking...
127 from the OH border north to Hudson, then northwest on 34 and 99 passing to the east of Battle Creek and Grand Rapids. North of Grand Rapids we'll head west to 37, then north to 55 which we'll take to the coast at Manistee. Up the coast a bit, then east to Traverse City and up to Petosky. I was thinking of avoiding Sleeping Bear Dunes because public beaches are not the most dog-friendly places and Barley can't see a body of water without wanting to jump in and paddle around.
Any advice? Also looking for decent campgrounds along the way.
Your proposed route through lower Michigan is good, but I am going to suggest some details. When you get to Manistee, follow M22 which is one of the most beautiful rides in all of Michigan (at least lower Michigan) The views over Lake Michigan are stunning. Continuing north to Frankfort, stop at Point Betsie Lighthouse which is one of the most popular of the hundreds of lights around Michigan. M22 goes all the way up to Leelanau Peninsula, then back down to Traverse City. At Traverse City, pick up US 31 to Petoskey. On the north side of Petoskey is the Tunnel of Trees, M119. The ride through Tunnel of Trees is not complete without a stop at Legg's Inn in Cross Village. Fun, old restaurant. From Cross Village, there are numerous routes one could take get to the Big Mac Bridge. Once in the UP, AKA God's Country, you can follow whichever lakeshore you desire. Personally, I prefer Lake Superior as it offers most scenic rides and generally less traffic.
For detailed ride maps of the UP of Michigan, see [url]www.upcruising.com[/url] You can order a guide from them. The new 2014 were delivered about 10 days ago.
Thanks, Scott. I traced it out on the map and it looks awfully good!
We went over Superior enroute to the RA Rally at Chippewa Falls. The plan was to wrap around the southern shoreline all the way to Paradise, then drop down to US2 and on to the rally. The problem was we were having such a great time we never made it further east than L'Anse. This trip will fill that gap. Appreciate the advice.
Having spent allot of time & travels in Michigan I agree with all Scott's advise.
As far as Sleepy Bear Dunes ...it is about a 300 foot climb to the top before ya see water...and I really hope Barley wouldn't jump in...cause from the top down to water is about 300 feet or more...:dance
Lived near there for a time..[Honor]..it is a beautiful area.
Scott nailed it for you! There's some beautiful riding and lots of neat little towns along the way. And if you have never ridden M-22 or M-119 they are worth it. I also agree that riding along the southern shore Lake Superior is a nicer ride than the north shore of Lake Michigan. If you have the time, spend some time visiting the Pictured Rocks National Seashore in Munising, stopping along the way at the Hilltop Cafe in Lanse for a cinnamon roll (and you better be hungry).
[QUOTE=dancogan;914918]Scott nailed it for you! There's some beautiful riding and lots of neat little towns along the way. And if you have never ridden M-22 or M-119 they are worth it. I also agree that riding along the southern shore Lake Superior is a nicer ride than the north shore of Lake Michigan. If you have the time, spend some time visiting the Pictured Rocks National Seashore in Munising, stopping along the way at the Hilltop Cafe in Lanse for a cinnamon roll (and you better be hungry).[/QUOTE]
Dat's da truth...I've had one of those cinnamon rolls......yum,yum:thumb
Please note....there is a section of road along Lake Superior between Grand Marais, MI and Muskallonge State Park that is NOT paved. Some maps don't show this fact clearly. If you were westbound, you would need to follow M123 down to M28 then west to Seney, north on M77 to Grand Marais to H58. All this to avoid about 12 miles of gravel.
[QUOTE=MUNMI;914934]Please note....there is a section of road along Lake Superior between Grand Marais, MI and Muskallonge State Park that is NOT paved. Some maps don't show this fact clearly. If you were westbound, you would need to follow M123 down to M28 then west to Seney, north on M77 to Grand Marais to H58. All this to avoid about 12 miles of gravel.[/QUOTE]
Dirt roads are nice. You'll notice in my first photo that I live on a dirt road. Dirt keeps the riff-raff away.
You also asked about campgrounds. We camp mostly in a motor home, but here are some ideas. Near Empire, MI is the Sleepy Bear Campground. Near Lake Michigan and, if I remember correctly, just south of the Sleeping Bear Dunes is the Platte River Campgrounds, run by the U.S. Park Service. I'm sure Barley would be welcome to enjoy the Platte River which meanders nearby. However, reservations will be needed. Up in Petoskey, MI is a KOA that is very nice and was the KOA of the year a few years back.
Those are the campgrounds I've seen and/or camped in. Michigan does not lack for campgrounds but July is a very, very busy time of year for them. I'd be happy to help answer any questions.
Thanks for that, Dan. Camping is definitely our preference unless the mosquitos are out in force!
If you like really rustic camping, Michigan is full of State Forest Campgrounds. Liking dirt roads is a plus.
You get a place to pitch your tent, potable water and a vault latrine.
Virtually all are on lakes or rivers and beautiful.
Mosquitos? You take your chances.
At your search engine type in "Michigan DNR - State Forest Campgrounds" and you will get a listing.
For most locations the cost is $13 a night for a rustic site.
Many are remote, so have everything you need for the night with you.
If you are not a resident of MI, do they charge a higher rate for camping for out state residents?
The Michigan DNR website shows only one camping fee for the State Forest Campgrounds.
State Park campgrounds may be a different story since they are less rustic.
[QUOTE=Roc-Roc;915282]If you are not a resident of MI, do they charge a higher rate for camping for out state residents?[/QUOTE]
Pay attention here...it can get confusing. In Michigan, we have State Forest Campgrounds and State PARK campgrounds. The fees for camping at each respectively are the same for resident or non-resident. The difference will be in access fees to the PARK. Michigan residents have the opportunity to purchase a Recreational Passport to apply to your vehicle registration. For example, when I go to DMV to update plates, I purchase the Recreational Passport for $11 ($5 for the bike). This gives us free access to State PARKS, but does NOT include camping fees. If I did not have Rec Pass, I would pay an access fee to the park each time I would visit. This fee is same for resident and non-resident.
There may be some exceptions for State Forest Campgrounds, but normally there is not an access fee....just the camping fee which varies by location and ammenities.
I see Non-Michigan resident have to purchase an annual($31.10) pass or daily pass($8.55) for your vehicle to enter state parks and state forest campgrounds This cost do not include camping cost for state parks or state forest campgrounds.